Guidance note on environmental non-compliance and incident reporting
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety’s (DMIRS) compliance program for the minerals, petroleum, geothermal and greenhouse gas storage sectors includes a range of activities to achieve operator compliance with legislation and policies relevant to the relevant sector.
At the core of the department’s approach is the primary objective of fostering voluntary compliance with environmental obligations. This is in line with increased community expectations in relation to environmental performance, disclosure and transparency in the resources sector. To meet this expectation, the department has updated and improved the process by which industry can self-report environmental non-compliances and incidents.
For information on how to report a non-compliance or incident, please refer to the Resource and Environmental Compliance Division’s Guidance Note for Non-compliances and Incidents.
Non-compliance and Incidents Reporting Requirements - Minerals
Tenement holders/operators should notify the DMIRS of all non-compliances and reportable environmental incidents.
These are defined as:
Non-compliance – a particular requirement of the tenement conditions or the legislation has not been complied with:
For the 2006 Guidelines for Mining Proposals
All tenements associated with a Mining Proposal approved under the “Guidelines for Mining Proposals in Western Australia’ February 2006 are subject to a standard condition requiring tenement holders to construct and operate the project in accordance with the approved Mining Proposal document. In this circumstance, approval via submission of a new Mining Proposal must be sought for any changes to the operation which are at variance with the existing approved Mining Proposals. Failure to construct and operate the project in accordance with approved Mining Proposals is considered a breach of tenement conditions.
For the 2016 Guidelines for Mining Proposals
For mining operations with a Mining Proposal approved under the ‘Guideline for Mining Proposals in Western Australia, April 2016’ (the 2016 MP Guideline) a reportable, environmental incident, ‘is:
- an incident that breaches any environmental outcome or performance criteria of the approved Mining Proposal;
- an incident arising from mining activities that has caused, or has the potential to cause environmental harm or injury to land.
Timeframes for Reporting Incidents or Non-compliance - Minerals
Reportable Environmental Incident
All tenements associated with a Mining Proposal approved under the 2016 MP Guideline will be subject to a standard condition requiring tenement holders to notify DMIRS of any reportable environmental incidents within twenty four hours of detection. Failure to notify DMIRS of a reportable incident would be a breach of condition and the mining tenements would potentially be subject to forfeiture action under the Mining Act.
Following the initial notification, DMIRS will require an investigation report to be provided within a timeframe agreed with the department. The timeframe in which an investigation report is required to be submitted will be determined on a case by case basis depending on the nature of the incident. The report will outline the details of the incident, explaining how it occurred, the impacts on the environment and any remedial actions taken.
If not a reportable environmental incident, tenement holders should report all non-compliances to DMIRS within three days of identification.
Environmental Incident Notification and Reporting – Petroleum
The Environment Plan for a petroleum and/or geothermal activity must include arrangements for monitoring and recording information to demonstrate that environmental performance objectives and environmental performance standards within the Environment Plan are being met.
Environmental reporting must be undertaken in accordance with the Environment Plan approved by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) and the Guideline for the Development of Petroleum and Geothermal Environment Plans in Western Australia.
A non-compliance is when a particular requirement of the approved EP or the regulations has not been complied with. Operators are required to notify the DMIRS of environmental incidents.
Reportable Incident Notification
Operators are to notify, within 2 hours, all reportable environmental incidents from petroleum and geothermal activities operating under State legislation. This initial notification may be verbal (via 0419 960 621), however written notification is preferred (via DMIRS Submissions or email to email@example.com). Please include preliminary information on the nature, scope and scale of the incident.
Reportable Incident Report
Operators are required to submit a reportable incident report within 3 days after the reportable incident notification. The report must include all known facts of the incident, any actions taken to avoid or mitigate environmental impacts, and any actions taken to prevent recurrence.
Please attached any relevant photos, maps or supporting documents.
Submit a Reportable Incident Report
Recordable Incident Report
A recordable incident is an incident arising from an activity that ‘breaches an environmental performance objective or environmental performance standard in the Environment Plan’ and ‘is not a reportable incident’.
The operator of an activity is required to submit a written report to DMIRS of all recordable incidents occurring within a calendar month no later than 15 days after the end of that calendar month.
If no recordable incidents occurred during the month, the report must include a statement to that effect.
Download the Recordable Incident Report
Submit a Recordable Incident Report
Routine Reporting - Emissions and Discharges Report
The operator of an activity must monitor all emissions and discharges to any land, air, marine, seabed, groundwater, subsurface or inland waters environment. The operator must submit to DMIRS a written report of emissions and discharges three months after the approval of an Environment Plan and a period of every three months thereafter.
Download the Emissions and Discharges Report
Submit an Emissions and Discharges Report
Routine Reporting - Annual Environmental Report
In order to provide evidence that environmental performance objectives of an Environment Plan have been met and that the implementation strategy has been complied with, operators are required to submit a report to DMIRS at least annually.
Routine Reporting - Closeout Report
A closeout report is acceptable on completion of an activity in place of an annual environmental report if the activity is of short duration (i.e. less than a year).
For more information, please refer to the Guideline for Preparing an Annual Report.
Submit an Annual Report and/or Closeout Report
Notification – Prestart and Cessation
Operators are required to confirm the start date of the activity prior to commencement of activities onsite (first mobilisation to site) and provide notification of the completion date within one week of the activity ceasing (demobilisation from site).
Submit a Prestart and Cessation Notification
Notification – Commonwealth
Operators are required to seek approval for petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters from the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) and consult with relevant State departments.
DMIRS considers any petroleum activity that occurs in Commonwealth waters adjacent to the WA coastline to be an activity whereby the Department should be consulted. The level of consultation will be determined by the potential environmental risks and impacts of the petroleum activity.
For more information, please refer to the Consultation Guidance Note for Commonwealth Operators.
Submit a Commonwealth Notification
The following points of contact in DMIRS are listed below for any environmental incident and/or non-compliance reporting:
Minerals – environment incident reporting
Petroleum – environment incident reporting
Environment reports, notifications and reporting of incidents can be submitted electronically via DMIRS Online Submissions or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read our guide on how to submit via DMIRS Submissions.
When notifying or reporting environmental incidents and/or non-compliance by email, please use the following naming convention in the email subject line:
Subject line: region, name of site/project; permit/title/tenement/instrument number; description of incident/non-compliance.
Please attach an Environmental and Reportable Incident/Non-compliance Reporting Form which should include preliminary information on the nature, scope and scale of the environmental incident and/or non-compliance, and any relevant photos, maps or supporting documents.
Need more information, view the Guidelines and guidance page.